As Mayor Bill de Blasio said in his address today, New York City is not a gated community. Our city can only remain great if families can thrive in the neighborhoods they have called home—and if new families can find opportunity here, as they have for centuries. When developers first approached us about investing in St George, my primary concern was that these monumental projects benefit not just an isolated slice of the North Shore, but the surrounding, interconnected neighborhoods as well. The mayor’s State of the City address marks the beginning of a process to increase the number of housing units in these surrounding neighborhoods, so that we can maximize their potential while preserving their culture, fabric and opportunity. And as the North Shore becomes more attractive to all New Yorkers, I applaud the mayor’s commitment to provide free legal services to victims of landlord neglect or harassment, so that no one is forced out of their neighborhood.
Of course, we will undertake this together, as a community. With all parties at the table, we will have a conversation about zoning, transportation, education and infrastructure on the North Shore. I look forward to engaging our neighbors in this process, as we work to ensure a diverse housing mix for all residents, including middle class families, seniors who are downsizing, and our sons and daughters who are just starting out. We will work to maintain economic diversity so that the North Shore continues to provide the same life-giving opportunities to my grandchildren as it did to my grandparents.
The mayor took office last January taking aim at the “tale of two cities,” and in the last year, we in city government have enacted several measures to ensure that all New Yorkers benefit from this rising economy. Together, we have implemented universal pre-kindergarten, doubled the number of after school program slots, expanded paid sick leave to include 500,000 more New Yorkers and expanded our living wage law to include 18,000 more employees, all while seeing crime and traffic deaths drop to historic lows. We have also implemented a municipal ID program so that our city, built by immigrants, does not force any New Yorker into the shadows. These are investments in our city, in the lives of our residents, and I look forward to working with the mayor to accomplish even more in 2015.
For the full text of the mayor's address, visit his website here.